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IHS Rosebud Hospital emergency department to resume full operations

24-hour emergency care services will be available at IHS facility in Rosebud, South Dakota

On July 15, the Indian Health Service Rosebud Hospital emergency department will resume operations 24 hours a day, seven days a week. The emergency room has been on diversionary status since December 5, 2015. Urgent care services at IHS Rosebud Hospital remained available each day since the December announcement, and many other hospital services also remained available during this period.

“The restoration of emergency department services at the Indian Health Service Rosebud Hospital is a great milestone for our patients and the community,” said Mary Smith, IHS principal deputy director. “IHS is committed to delivering quality health care for our patients, and this announcement today underscores IHS’s willingness to do everything that is necessary to accomplish this. IHS staff across the country continue to work to ensure that IHS facilities deliver quality health care to our American Indian and Alaska Native communities.”

In preparation for the emergency department resuming services, Webster Two Hawk Sr., a member of the Rosebud Sioux Tribe, provided a blessing at the emergency department on July 13. He was accompanied by Rosebud Sioux Tribe Vice President Scott Herman.

While the emergency department was on diversionary status, IHS renovated the emergency department, inventoried equipment, repaired or replaced equipment due for upgrade, revised processes to improve patient assessments and upgraded technology systems to support effective medical records documentation through the IHS electronic health record.

On April 30, IHS signed Systems Improvement Agreements with the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services, which requires that in the short-term IHS obtain the services of an Emergency Department medical group contractor for Pine Ridge Hospital and for Rosebud Hospital. The Systems Improvement Agreements strengthen the foundation for immediate and long-term quality improvements at Pine Ridge and Rosebud Hospitals.  As a result, on May 17, IHS awarded AB Staffing Solutions, LLC, a contract to provide management and staffing of the emergency department. IHS is using a temporary surge in funding to provide emergency room services at Rosebud Hospital and two other hospitals while IHS reviews the administrative and clinical operations of its facilities across the region to develop long-term solutions.

As announced by IHS on June 13, individuals seeking surgical and obstetrics services at the IHS Rosebud Hospital are being diverted to other facilities due to staffing shortages, and the diversionary status for the surgical and obstetrics departments remains in place. All other inpatient and outpatient hospital services at IHS Rosebud Hospital are available, and with today’s announcement, this availability is expanded to include the emergency department. Providing access to quality medical care is a priority for IHS, and Great Plains Area Indian Health Service continues to work on long and short-term solutions to staff all departments and continue to improve services at IHS Rosebud Hospital.

In addition to efforts to add contract staff in Emergency Departments, IHS has a number of ongoing efforts to improve staffing across the IHS system. In May, IHS requested proposals for enhanced telehealth services in the Great Plains enabling more clinical appointments to be provided remotely. IHS is currently evaluating proposals received. Additionally, IHS has eliminated a number of administrative impediments to health professional staff recruitment across the IHS system, including securing approval to offer additional relocation benefits for qualified job candidates as well as more pay for some health providers so that salaries at IHS are more competitive. For example, IHS has established a new Title 38 special salary pay table for Certified Registered Nurse Anesthetists, which allows for more competitive salaries for this critical nursing specialty.

IHS, in conjunction with the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services, another part of the U.S. government, announced on May 13 an additional partnership to strengthen the quality of care, with IHS hospitals receiving assistance from a CMS-supported Hospital Engagement Network, which works to help identify solutions already working and disseminate them to other hospitals and providers.

The IHS Great Plains Area serves 130,000 patients in Iowa, Nebraska, South Dakota and North Dakota by operating 15 federal government facilities and funding the operations of 18 tribally operated health facilities. Review the IHS Principal Deputy Director’s recent briefing on Great Plains Area operations.

The IHS, an agency in the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, provides a comprehensive health service delivery system for approximately 2.2 million American Indians and Alaska Natives.